The Korea Herald


[Land of Squid Game] Standing too close

By Korea Herald

Published : Jan. 3, 2023 - 14:33

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Many cultures have different ideas about how much personal space is needed to feel comfortable.

Personal space is like a no-fly zone or a bubble around each person. It is an extension of them. If another person, especially a stranger, enters that space; it might seem like a personal violation.

For many Westerners, if they can feel someone else's body heat, the other person is definitely too close for comfort. However, people in South Korea have a different concept of personal space. It is not uncommon for strangers to stand or walk closely with each other on the streets, shopping centers, or subways. Also, Koreans tend to crowd together in close proximity, especially if waiting in line, even if there is more space around them.

Min Byoung-chul is an endowed chair professor at Chung-Ang University who is widely known as a multicultural educator and for his practical English teaching. This content is based on his book, “Land of Squid Game,” which can be purchased at major book stores. -- Ed.